- Cohen Charles grew up in Manenberg with the Kaaps language all around him
- He has such a love for the language that his thesis on it earned him a chance to study in Norway
- Cohen is now a full-time teacher who proudly uses Kaaps in his classroom
Cohen Charles is a proud child of the Cape Flats and he has a fondness for the language that is spoken in the streets of his home, Kaaps.
In fact, he loves it so much that it has been a big part of his academic journey, as reported on by News24.
Kaaps is spoken in the households of the coloured community in Cape Town and Cohen did his thesis on the dialect and obtained his linguistics degree cum laude.
Thanks to this achievement, he got the chance to complete his Honours Degree abroad - something that he did so well he earned himself an A-average. He studied at the University of Oslo in Norway last year.
Cohen is from Manenberg and sees Kaaps as a language that is always changing and influenced by English, Afrikaans, Khoekhoe (spoken by the Khoisan) and gangster slang.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the 24-year-old has taken his love for Kaaps to the classroom as he uses it to teach the students and Bonteheuwel High School English and Life Orientation.
"I teach them to be proud of their identity and culture. Kaaps is a marker of our identity. If you change how you speak, you are changing your character."
Although his time in Oslo started off shaky, he did great. News24 quoted him as saying:
"It was my first time outside Cape Town, the first time I even got on an aeroplane. I got lost during my first week. I remember asking a woman to help me get to where I needed to be, but she didn't say a word to me or even make eye contact. I had to contact the police to get where I needed to be. That situation was strange to me. Where I am from, people would go out of their way to help you."
He is a full-time teacher now, but Cohen dreams of being a linguistics lecturer one day.
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